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Sidhu's cable, DTH tax plan gets Punjab cabinet nod

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MUMBAI: Entertainment lately seems to be affected the most with one tax after another -- the GST and tax on watching television programmes. Now, in a ‘blow’ to local cable network companies, entertainment tax will be levied on DTH and cable connections in Punjab. DTH operators however will now have a level playing field with the cable networks. 

State local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu told the cabinet that the nominal tax would ensure accountability on the part of cable operators.

After the introduction of GST from 1 July, 2017, the tax levied by the state government had been withdrawn. The state cabinet has however approved levying of the tax through panchayats and municipalities through an amendment proposed in the next session of the Vidhan Sabha where it has the two-thirds majority, PTI reported.

No entertainment tax, however, has been proposed for cinemas, multiplexes and amusement parks.

The urban and rural bodies will now be allowed to impose and collect a nominal tax of Rs 5 per DTH connection and Rs 2 per local cable connection per month with the enactment of ‘The Punjab Entertainments & Amusements Taxes (Levy & Collection by Local Bodies) Bill 2017.’

With around 44 lakh cable connections and 16 lakh DTH in Punjab, the bodies are expected to collect Rs 450-470 million (approximately Rs 369 million and Rs 96 million, respectively).

Sidhu had been alleging tax evasions by Fastway Network, a company linked to the previous dispensation. In August, the minister had urged the CM’s office to take a call on the recovery of allegedly evaded tax of Rs 200 billion from Fastway.

Also Read:

Probe Punjab 'cable mafia,' demands minister, Fastway refutes charges

Punjab Govt falters in first leg of breaking cable monopoly

Punjab govt. studying Arasu & other regulatory models on distribution 

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